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How CBD Can Treat depression?

CBD adjusts the brain’s serotonin levels, helping directly with depression, stabilize mood and attention new research shows.



Depression makes it difficult to work, focus on life, relationships, tasks, and make it harder to enjoy social activities. People living with depression typically receive antidepressant prescriptions from doctors, but the multiple side effects, these treatments aren't for anyone.


What about CBD? Because some companies are promoting CBD as a cure-all, using it to treat mental illness and depression seems dubious. However, with the publication of recent research, scientists have an explanation for how CBD can positively impact patients with depression.

The study published in the journal Neuropsychiatrie, focused on a 16-year-old male patient with multiple substance abuse disorder and also diagnosed with severe depression, social phobia, and narcissistic personality disorder. This patient told his doctors he consumed THC daily and used cocaine, ecstasy, and MDMA about once a week. He presented symptoms like social withdrawal, attention deficit, and losing touch with reality as well.


The patient had received various treatment for 2 years and hadn’t responded to antidepressants for over 6 months. Doctors suggested to try CBD as an alternative solution, and the patient consented. They gave him CBD capsule forms with different dosages (starting at 100 mg up to 600mg over eight weeks) and the patient asked to stop the antidepressant after 3 weeks of CBD treatment.


Doctors observed a decrease of his symptoms related to depression and anxiety and the patient quit abusing illicit drugs (he underwent urine drug tests throughout the study). Additionally, the patient didn’t exhibit the typical withdrawal associated with quitting drugs.

“CBD was a safe and well-tolerated medication for this patient,” the study’s authors wrote. “Upon treatment with CBD and cessation of the antidepressant medication, the patient improved regarding depressive as well as anxiety symptoms including simple phobias and symptoms of paranoia and dissociation.”


The observational study didn’t mention exactly why CBD proved effective, but a 2014 review could provide answers. CBD interacts with serotonin receptors in your brain, which causes the cannabinoid’s anti-depressive and anti-anxiety qualities. Serotonin affects various functions of the mind and body, including your emotional state.


CBD works without direct interaction with your brain’s endocannabinoid system, researchers noted, meaning it’s less habit-forming over time. As a 2018 review adds, this is why CBD is promoted for patients treating a wide range of symptoms.


“It is particularly important since different from anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs such as benzodiazepines and SSRIs, acute administration of an anxiolytic dose of CBD is safe and appears to preserve the sleep architecture,” the review’s authors wrote. “Thus, CBD may be a potentially useful therapeutic option for a wide range of disorders.”


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